More than 2.5 million – 2.5 crore – people, a number greater than Australia’s population, have applied for about 90,000 positions which were announced recently by Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) of Indian railways, reported Reuters.
The number of applicants is expected to rise further as the deadline for applications will end on Saturday, the official told Press Trust of India.
Indian Railway is among the largest railway networks in the world and also one of the world’s largest employers with over 10 lakh employees.
Online tests will be held for jobs in the railway police, locomotive drivers and technicians in 15 languages. “A lot of applicants are overqualified and even PhD holders are applying for the technicians job,” a railway official was quoted by the Economic Times newspaper as saying.
In 2015, authorities in India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, received 23 Lakh applications for 368 low-level government jobs. In 2016, over 5 lakh aspirants including MBA graduates and engineers applied for 3,140 vacancies of sweepers in UP.
Prime Minister Modi was voted into power in 2014 on promises to reignite growth in Asia’s third-largest economy and provide jobs. But his flagship “Make in India” initiative to lift the share of manufacturing in India’s $2 trillion economy to 25 percent from about 17 percent and create 100 million jobs by 2022 has so far failed to deliver on its promise underlining the challenge Prime Minister Narendra Modi faces in providing millions of jobs ahead of elections in 2019. According to a Mint report, far from more jobs being created, employment has actually contracted. Employment in the total Indian economy shrank by 0.1% in financial year 2015-16 and by 0.2% in 2014-15.
Recently, Paul Krugman, the American economist who won a Nobel Prize in 2008, warned that India could end up with huge mass unemployment if it does not grow its manufacturing sector.